Kayaking & bird watching in the Marlborough region

Published: June 26, 2015

My experience of Driftwood Retreat and Ecotours started with an evening drive to the retreat among the vast Marlborough vineyards. It felt like I was getting further and further away from the inhabited word until I eventually reached the house and was warmly welcomed by Rose and Will.

The next morning started beautifully, fully rested as I was after a very relaxing evening and a perfect night.  I awoke to the sound of birds singing and quickly got up to enjoy the delicious breakfast which had been left for me in the kitchen the night before.

I then went for a little walk around to explore the area a bit, before going on a 2-hour kayak tour on the Opawa River.

Will first took time to give me some basic rules to operate a kayak efficiently and comfortably, as well as a few safety rules: no need to be an expert, beginners are welcome. He also described the tour we were going to do and the rules to follow in order to respect Maori traditions as they own the land we were going to visit. 

He then helped me board my kayak before following me on the water, accompanied by his small Jack Russell. A few kilometres later, I had already seen and learnt a lot, from cormorants to spoonbills and kingfishers, with a little touch of historical facts about the 1855 earthquake (the most powerful ever recorded in New-Zealand) which deeply affected the area. Or about the Maoris who settled there and are believed to have been the 1st to do so.

So when time came to get out of my kayak and say goodbye to Will, I thought that time really flied when you were having a good time!

Don’t hesitate to come and see for yourself!

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